Let your ideas and innovations take you to the next level, gain you national recognition and win you a grant of up to $200,000. The i2i competition is designed to reward business creativity that has the potential (1) to serve the national community by having positive development on Trinidad and Tobago economically or socially and (2) be commercially viable.
What kind of ideas/proposals can enter?
Prospective participants/innovators are invited to submit inventions and creative initiatives in the following activity areas, including but not limited to:
- Manufacturing and manufacturing related
- Primary agriculture, bio-technology
- Creative industries
- Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
- Alternative/remedial energy and energy efficiency
- Agro-industrial processing
- Environment (clean technologies, eco-related activities)
- Bio-waste and other waste (including recycling activities)
Note: Submissions can be made in other fields but these would be considered on a case-by-case basis on their own merit (nature, economic or social value, commercialization prospect etc.) once they meet the programme’s scope and overall objectives. Cross-disciplinary projects i.e. ideas which include more than one of the above combined are also encouraged.
Key Dates / Milestones
Deadline / Timeframe
Launch of i2i 2013
May 29th, 2013
Receipt of Applications / Proposals
May 29th, 2013-July 10th, 2013
July 1st, 2013-August 30th, 2013
Publication of Qualifiers (Letters sent to successful applicants)
September 9th, 2013-September 13th, 2013
September 25th, 2013
Round 2 – Disbursement, Training and Development and Monitoring
Disbursement of Funds to selected projects
Business plan workshops
Preparation of Innovative Business plans
Evaluation of Business plans
Monitoring of projects
Exhibition of top projects and adjudication by top panel of executives, innovators and investors
The Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development through the Council for Competitiveness and Innovation will identify projects that meet stated criteria related to the characterisation of innovation and its lending principles, using the following guidelines:
- The creation of a new product, service, system design, process;
- The improvement of a new product, service, business process or system;
- A new process of adding value to a Trinidad and Tobago-sourced raw material.
- The products, services or processes should be able to find a market or use in the local or export market.
- Project impact, driving social and economic benefit and creation of sustainable, high quality jobs.
Winning innovators/inventors will receive funding in following disbursement categories:
Beneficiaries will receive the full approved capital in the form of a grant, which will not need to be repaid, unless mitigating conditions are otherwise stipulated in the contract agreement.
All business entities/ companies are eligible to participate once they have up to TT$50million in sales turnover.
Individuals, sole proprietors, micro-enterprises are definitely eligible to participate but do not normally require turnover amount above.
Teams / partnerships:
Projects teams and/or partnerships can be constituted as follows:
A small group of no more than 5 individuals, who have come together for the purpose of this competition, but remain together until the full implementation of projects or geared towards the establishment of an enterprise. Funding can discontinue and team considered as no longer eligible if any member(s) dissent(s).
A partnership exists among no more than 5 representatives of different companies/institutions/organisations which have formed a union/joint venture for the purpose of collaborating in this competition. Registered partnerships are also included.
- Applicants must be 18 years of age and over.
- Individuals, teams or entities from the Diaspora, provided that their projects will be implemented in Trinidad and Tobago and/or provide jobs here.
- In the case of companies, they must have a majority shareholding (at least 51%) held by nationals/ citizens of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago including companies in any of the Diaspora.
- Applicants wishing to participate as Small and Medium-sized firms must have minimum asset base of $25,000 dedicated for this project. Start-up companies and teams are exempted from this stipulation but must provide justification and supporting documents on the ability to sustain their projects.
- A work programme and timeline (submission guideline 7) must be also provided indicating the intended use of the funds and associated time periods for expenditure.
- The project proposal should contain elements of technological and business innovation leading to commercialization of innovative products, processes and services.
- The project team, partnership or entity should provide evidence of technical competency to undertake the proposed activity.
- Application from an individual must be accompanied by a supporting letter from a referee i.e. from an independent person who has been associated with him/her and so qualified to indicate his/her ability to undertake the project.
- Applicant must be a registered Cooperative or registered Government recognized Community Organization / Group, including non-governmental organisations in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
- Applicant must show proof of financial capability that they can fund the portion of project costs not funded under the i2i competition.
- Projects must be undertaken in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
- All successful participants must commit to a maximum of 30 hours of assistance after completing the process and implementing their projects towards successful enterprises or ventures to give back to future participants as mentors or coaches.
Cases not Eligible for Funding under the i2i competition
These are as follows:
- Projects under the purview of Ministries, Departments or Agencies where other funding programmes may exist
- Applications from Government Agencies with Research Programmes
- Applications from Research and Technological Organisations/Institutes that benefit from Government Funding
- Applications from large companies ( sales revenue >TT $50million)
- Submissions will be restricted to one applicant in a case where more than one company has undertaken to submit a joint application or where there is joint shareholding/interest of one company by another who wishes to apply.
- Members and Staff of the Council for Competitiveness and Innovation (CCI), CARIRI, staff of Lonsdale Saatchi & Saatchi, the Evaluation Panel, their affiliated offices, and their immediate families are not eligible to apply for the i2i competition.
Project submissions for the i2i competition will be assessed by an independent Evaluation Panel comprised of professionals and technical experts in various fields and their verdict will be final and non-contestable.
In phase 2 of the evaluation process, submissions will be evaluated on the following criteria:
Innovativeness of the project submissions
Project proposals must indicate whether it is recombination, fusion, integration, replication or refinement of existing technologies with improved value, enhanced efficiency or cost reduction.
Societal benefits (only relevant to social initiatives)
The project proposals must clearly describe the socio-economic benefits to the community. The proposals must also describe the community chosen and their involvement in the project.
Credibility of project proposal
The project proposal must be clear, accurate and consistent with the objectives of the i2i competition and the Innovation Financing Facility. It must have achievable milestones and methodologies (to be in the timeline in the submission form) that can be completed within stipulated timeframe.
Appropriateness of methodology
The applicant must provide sufficient information or evidence on the appropriateness of the chosen methodology (new or established methods / techniques). The methodology should outline the sequence of proposed actions and identify these actions as numbered stages, steps and phases (explained in the justification details of the timeline).
Appropriateness of milestones
The proposed milestones must be appropriate and consistent with the project objectives and activities.
Competency of the Project Team or Individual
Project teams should consist of qualified and technically competent members / institutions with respect to technical and commercialization aspects.
Roles and responsibility of collaborators involved in the project should be clearly defined. Involvement of consultants in the project should be justified and with details submitted.
Commercialization Prospect (only applicable to relevant business ideas)
The project should indicate clearly the expected outcome and demonstrate potential for commercialization.
Applicants should express the ability to raise additional capital or indicate sources of additional capital to finance any portion of project cost not funded by the Innovation Financing Facility.
The applicant must state the possible risks (technology risk, financial risk and time risk) that may affect the implementation or completion of the project.
Cases for disqualification or possible repayment of funds
- Falsification of information
- Non-completion/ achievement of targets or milestones
- Any fraud, misuse of funds or other illegal act in the use of the funds or within this programme.
- Change of grant recipient without the prior consent of the Executing Agency.
- Any other breach of agreement.
Idea Protection and Intellectual Property
Will the documentation and materials I submit remain confidential?
- Your submissions/files will be secured to ensure that there is no breach of confidentiality by the staff and members of the CCI and our partners.
- We are providing an online tracking system, so that you are aware where your application is and at what stage.
- Confidentiality agreements are being signed with all agents and partners in this competition to ensure that your ideas are not taken away or used for the benefit of any third party.
Type of Intellectual Property Protection – Patents, Industrial designs and Integrated circuits. Please read more here: http://www.legalaffairs.gov.tt/ipo/Default.htm
These forms of IP fall under industrial property and require an application process and substantive examination before rights are granted.
NB: The Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development and the CCI give all assurances that the applicant shall remain the sole owner of their idea and that no steps will be taken by the Ministry and the CCI to assert any claims to any ideas presented.
How to Proceed with My Application
Applicants’ submitted proposals should allow for ‘enabling disclosure’, that is, the ideas presented should be sufficient to allow for evaluation and searching.
NB: Ideas must be “new” and “workable” to be considered eligible.
What happens to my Application?
- All submissions shall be subject to evaluation by an independent expert Evaluation Panel set up by the CCI.
- The Evaluation Panel shall select a short list of submissions to go forward.
- The final list of submissions shall be submitted to the Evaluation Panel to the CCI for its final approval for funding.
Intellectual Property Rights may not accrue if:
- an idea is not new
- an idea is not workable (i.e. must be industrially applicable)
NB: This does not mean that your idea is not a good business model it simply means that it is not protectable.
For Your Information
- Did you know that you have one (1) year from full public disclosure of your idea within which to file for Intellectual Property protection from the Intellectual Property Office?
- If your submission has global applicability and may be worth filing in other jurisdictions outside of Trinidad and Tobago, foreign considerations or rules with respect to this grace period may be important.
- Your invention/innovation must then be examined by the IP office before they can ascertain whether your invention/innovation can get IP protection as an exclusive right.
- By submitting an application for this competition, all applicants agree to adhere to the rules and will not subject any rules or the executing agency to its partners, the CCI, to legal objection or litigation.
- The Ministry and the CCI guarantees that the i2i competition shall be conducted in keeping with all the practices of good governance and that all evaluation processes shall be conducted independently and without interference by the Ministry and the CCI.
The following are the 3 criteria for protection under patent applications:
- What makes an invention or innovation “new”? – To be considered new for patents and industrial designs, the invention must not have been disclosed anywhere in the world in any form for not more than 12 months before the application date.
- “Inventive step” or “non-obviousness” – The invention must be beyond the state of the art at the time of application or non-obvious to persons with average skill in the art.
- What makes an invention or innovation “workable”? This is the expectation that the invention will conform to the laws of physics and thermodynamics (in such cases it is a technical invention).
- Note: All submissions will not attract IP rights. However, for the purposes of this competition, outside of possible patentability, “new” will refer to all ideas, innovations and inventions which are completely original in form, and has not appeared anywhere in the world (patentable), or an improvement on existing products or services, or which are new to the Trinidad and Tobago market (the latter may not be patentable).
If you wish to file a patent application or obtain more information on patents, you may contact the IPO office at:
Intellectual Property Office
3rd Floor Capital Plaza
11-13 Frederick Street,
Tel:625-0706, 625-1907 and 625-9972